Why the 90s Was the Greatest Decade in Popular Music — Relive It at That 90s Party
On February 20th, we'll be celebrating all things 90s... especially the incredible music of the decade. If you don't understand why that's a big deal, then allow me to explain why the 90s were greatest decade for popular music.
I was born in 1980, so my formative years (ages 10-20) were all spent in what, in my opinion, was the greatest decade in human history -- the 1990s. You may not agree, and I get that most people feel that way about the decade in which they came of age, but let me explain just one of the reasons why the 90s rule and every other decade can suck it.
Chapter 1 -- The Music
Popular music has grown stale and predictable -- it's been this way for a very long time. Think about it, when was the last time a fresh sound revolutionized the entire landscape of popular music? Well, if your answer was the 90s -- you are correct. Except there were several momentous musical breakthroughs that took place in the 90s.
The Seattle Sound aka Grunge
From those four choppily strummed power chords to the throat-shredding scream that closes the song -- Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' changed what hard rock would sound, look, and feel like forever in just 4 minutes and 24 seconds. I could go on all day about 90s grunge, alternative, and hard rock, but this moment was the cultural big bang. Also, Kurt pretty much gave birth to the tagline for Gen X'ers with 6 words.
Even though it's not referred to as "gangster rap" these days, there's no denying that everything about today's scene is owed to what happened in the 90s. There's a reason the first half of the decade is referred to as the "golden age of hip hop" -- because it got so good, so quick. Artists like Biggie, Tupac, Snoop, Dre, Outkast, and the many others changed the game forever, and have yet to be outshined.
This is a genre I've recently fell in love with all over again thanks to Pandora. I don't know if you can really say that 90s R&B was revolutionary, but it became a little smoother, more soulful, and waaaaaay more sexual than it had been before. Many of today's pop and rhythmic hits have their roots planted firmly in the smooth sounds of the 90s.
One Hit Wonders
One hit wonders are still everywhere, but they're a lot more fun to listen to 20+ years later. Some of the most ridiculous one hit wonders came out of the 90s, as well as some pretty awesome tunes we don't hear nearly enough today.
While there were some that came before, the 90s was the era that gave rise to the "Boy Band" as we know it today... for better or for worse. Also, Spice Girls were a thing that happened. Even if it's not your cup of tea (it's definitely not mine), it's still pretty fun to mock.